I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all a happy and healthy New year on behalf of your village board. I hope all enjoyed their holiday season.
The Village employees have, for the most part, completed the cleanup from Sandy and the Nor’easter. Although there may be some minor issues to be resolved, the major effort is completed. Reimbursement requests from FEMA began weeks ago with the filling of numerous documents required to complete this process. We have been informed that the formula for reimbursement is 75 percent federal, 12.5 percent state and 12.5 percent village. The way in which the reimbursement guidelines have been set, the village should be able to absorb its share of the costs due to the total number of items available for reimbursement. Having said that, I’m concerned about how this funding is being handled in Washington. There should be no politics involved and the relief monies should be dealing with damages suffered in the northeast as a result of Sandy and the Nor’easter.
The whole country continues to mourn the deaths of 20 children and six adults who died in last month’s school shooting in Newtown, CT. And while we wait for the motive to emerge and policy proposals to surface, we can speak out now on behalf of families who need greater access to mental health treatment and other social services that ultimately will prove more effective in protecting and strengthening all of us; children, adults and our communities.
As the head of a human services organization, I believe it is part of our mission to inform and educate the public on important issues facing today’s families in a balanced and professional manner. As the result of this tragic event, there will be a temptation to look for quick answers; overly simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions.
The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.
Recently, golf’s two governing bodies, the USGA and the Scotland-based R&A, proposed a rule change that would prohibit the use of anchored—or belly—putters. Their rationale is that by anchoring the butt of the club against part of the body, a player gains more control and therefore an unfair advantage.
It’s hard to imagine that the advantage could be so great since relatively few people use these putters. Tiger Woods doesn’t like them and you hardly ever see them employed by casual players. The golfing community seems to be coalescing around the idea that there’s something wrong about these ungainly putters, and that they shouldn’t be part of the game.
The adopted $2.8 billion Nassau County budget for fiscal year 2013 represents a 0.2 percent decrease in spending compared to the 2012 budget. For the third consecutive year, the budget holds the line on property taxes with no increase.
The budget is fiscally conservative containing only $60.1 million of revenue and expenditure items considered as having risk. This is the lowest amount of budgetary risk in over four years. The $60.1 million at risk is comprised of $39.1 million in possible lower revenues and $21 million in possible higher expense. This level of risk is about 2 percent of the total budget and should be manageable.
I am angry. I am sad. I am resolute. The tragedy of Newtown is the tragedy of each and every community in every corner of our country. It could have happened anywhere. It is not a partisan issue, or a regional issue, and knows no ideology.
Everyone’s asking, “What’s happening to this country of ours?” But answers require a good, hard look in the mirror and won’t be found in Washington DC, or state capitals. Instead, they reside directly in us, and unfortunately that makes people uncomfortable. That’s too bad. We’re going to have to get past this discomfort, or we condemn ourselves to a future of burying the innocent.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
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Franwin Pharmacy hit a home run during Hurricane Sandy. Owners Allen Sankovich and Bob Somerfield had their own generators and never lost power, while CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen’s were all closed, Franwin was open to serve the doctors and customers filling prescriptions. Their pharmacy, which opened in 1930, also carries a full line of surgical supplies like walkers, canes and braces.
It was just a few short weeks ago that Superstorm Sandy was causing us nothing but panic and grief. It was one problem right after another making those few days feel like an eternity, but I think we can agree that it gave us new appreciation for simple pleasures like brewing a cup of coffee or taking a hot shower. As often happens in times of sacrifice, we grew in solidarity with our neighbors, pulling through with a sense that we were “all in this together.”
Then the lights came back on, the heat started working, gas stations came back online and we happily started to forget about Sandy. There were, of course, expensive and inconvenient repairs to be made, and donations to be sent, but for most of us on this part of the Island, life pretty much returned to “normal.”
It is quite amazing to think that December is upon us and that we are already in the second marking period! How fast the school year seems to be flying by.
As all of you are probably aware by now, the board of education revised the 2012-13 school calendar at the Nov. 19 meeting to make up days lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the snowstorm. School will now be in session on Feb. 20, 21 and 22. It was reported in Newsday that several airlines are now waiving their change fees for customers who booked tickets for travel during February’s mid-winter break; and it is likely that other travel organizations may follow suit as well.
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